“I was horrified, my workplace and my phone number were given to all these men and they were coming into work as I had supposedly offered them my sexual services. I was receiving revolting pictures as apparently I was asking for them”. – Domestic violence survivor Jenny
Jenny and her daughter are survivors and thrivers ♥️
The day my nightmare began…
With a raised hand and evil eyes “Fear me! I will terrorise you for the rest of your life.” These are the words that will haunt me forever. February 1, 2013 started off as any other day. little did I know it was going to be the start of something that would change my life forever.
I remember it clearly walking home from the supermarket with a shopping bag in each hand, it was a super windy day. As I walked there was a massive gust of wind and my little green dress blew up, with both hands full I couldn’t do much but try to hold it back down.
It was then that I looked up to see a guy laughing, I apologised shyly and went to continue on my way but something made me stop and talk to him, something I wouldn’t normally do. Three hours later we were still talking. He walked me a couple of blocks home and we parted ways with exchanging phone numbers. Off I went with the biggest smile on my face, I had just met the man of my dreams on the side of the footpath.
We exchanged cute texts and saw each other on the weekends. We just connected and were able to talk for hours about anything and everything. It was only a few weeks into knowing each other that he said he was being kicked out of where he was living because his flatmate was a psycho and he hadn’t found a place yet. I felt really sorry for him thinking what a horrible flatmate she must be real a psycho to do that. So I offered for him to stay with me for one week till he got his own place. That one week turned into one year.
He was every woman’s dream…
I worked 38 hours a week and only had two days off. As far as I knew he did too. He worked in a cafe and was a graphic designer and had a lot of money. I had hit the jackpot. This guy was every women’s dream. Three months later I fell pregnant, this was the start of the end. I’ve always been a strong believer in everything happens for a reason so for me this was the start of something amazing. His first words were: “I don’t want it, get rid of it we don’t even know each other well enough”.
This played on my mind for a good week and I decided ‘OK let’s terminate’ purely because of his pressure but when it came to the day I knew I couldn’t. This just wasn’t right. From that day on he agreed he would support me in whatever decision I made. ‘Yay’ I thought. ‘This is great he’s changed his mind, we’re going to be a family.’
A bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad life…
Days, weeks and months went by. Weird things were happening, horrible words were said, even his whole image was changing. I was seeing pure evil whenever I looked into his eyes but I just thought it was a bad day, a bad week, a bad month but the bad never stopped. I continued working fulltime.
He stayed at home, slept all day and watched movies, never contributing to anything. Apparently it was my fault he lost his job. I never did see where he worked so till this day I wonder if there was even a job there in the first place. I did start to question where the money was coming from but the reply was always his savings. Lucky him his savings were increasing and mine were decreasing. He never contributed to anything that was needed for the baby we were having. I bought everything.
Although he did like to tell everyone that he bought it all and that he was working full-time to be able to support us. In fact it was the total opposite, I bought it all and I was the one working full-time right up till I was 38 weeks pregnant, purely because I knew I was going to need that money. I think subconsciously I knew what I was in for.
His words were his weapons…
Everyday I would come home not knowing what to expect. I always looked forward to leaving in the morning and hated the thought of what I was going to cop when I got home. What was I going to be a slut or a bitch? Useless or fat and ugly? Or would I be a cheap whore that no one loved anymore?
Or perhaps he would ask me how my day was and then not listen to me anyway and accuse me of sleeping with every man on the street. I knew a different side of him that no one else knew and he had everyone so charmed that it made me look like the mental case.
He would grab my arms so tight if I didn’t listen or didn’t agree or back him up. I would end up with bruises all over my arms. I would constantly be accused of stealing his money, deleting stuff on his phone or touching his property all of which I didn’t do.
My baby’s birth day was the worst day of my life…
In January of 2014 the baby decided to start on its way. He lay in bed and played computer games. I showered, got myself prepared for the hospital and asked if he would go and get me something to eat from the bakery down the road. He was happy with that, took my car for a joy ride and didn’t return until he realised I had sent several messages and tried to ring him several times to get home as I was in full labor.
I knew I was in this on my own I think I had known for quite a few months but I stayed thinking we were going to be a happy family once the baby was here. How wrong was I. This was the worst day of my life. After 12 hours of labor the baby had turned and got stuck. The doctors explained what was to happen next and he lost it with them telling them no one was interfering with his child.
While I lay in pain just wanting this baby out he was showing no interest, just walking in and out of the room. Off to theater I went, our baby was delivered and it was a girl. He didn’t want a girl and made that quite clear in the theater room.
Here I was having just delivered a baby and he didn’t want it because it was girl. He didn’t want to help with anything because he was to tired and exhausted. All I got was that I was a hopeless mother who couldn’t handle pain and couldn’t even push my own child out. To top it off I couldn’t breastfeed with all the stress I was under so I was once again a shit mother who couldn’t even feed my child.
I knew it was time to go…
We came home and that was all I could take, I felt like I was looking after two children. He stayed closed up inside sleeping all day. I was awake all day and night with our baby I don’t remember sleeping. The baby had jaundice and I wasn’t allowed to even open the curtains, so I had to sit outside to get sunlight for her. Life was hell, there was no happy family and I knew it was time. I packed the bags for myself and the baby and grabbed all I could but as I went to leave he grabbed my arms and told me I’m not going anywhere and not taking the baby bassinet.
I tried to struggle to get away and boom just like that I was getting punched – the face being the worst. I managed to get the bags and baby and got in my car and locked myself in. Thank god my sister answered her phone that day while at work and I drove straight to her house. I stayed with him as long as I could because i wanted a family, but then I realised my daughter was my family not him.
Those words “If you leave me I will terrorise you for the rest of your life” still ring in my ears everyday. The police got involved and I filed for a DVO. One week after fleeing my home he still hadn’t left so the police went in and removed him.
Even with him gone I could never return back to my home, it just wasnt the same place anymore. Going from my little haven to a dungeon that I never wanted to step foot in again. t took me five months of going in and out of court with a new born baby and him never showing up to any court hearing before they finally granted me a two-year DVO. A piece of paper that was suppose to protect me and my daughter from that monster.
He shattered my safety…
Once I felt strong enough I moved back out on my own thinking i was going to be safe, he didn’t no where I was. The day I started moving in was the day he came knocking on the door. He found where I was and was hiding in the garage waiting for my car to pull in so he could find the unit number. My mum was here with me, which got rid of him quick smart.
Here I was thinking I was moving into a secure place unknown to him and he had found me already. A few hours later I discovered on my car a massive gouge along the side and the word “SLUT” engraved right down to the bottom of the paint work on the babies door and the front of the car. The police came and took photos etc but with no video footage there was no evidence to pin it on him.
Slut was his famous word there was no question for me who done it. A few months went by with no contact then he returned and wanted to see his daughter saying he was leaving to go overseas so wanted to say “bye”. I knew in the back of mind that was rubbish but I still agreed. Nothing had changed. He was still that horrible evil person who was out for even more revenge.
Once again I was called every name under the sun and he stole my phone and ran. He knew that the phone had my life on it and he had always said: “How do you think it would feel to have your life taken away from you?”. Back to the police I went. I filed a statement and they conducted a search but of course nothing was found, this guy was clever not stupid, so I looked like the psycho person. It wasn’t the materialistic side of the phone it was the fact he took away all my baby photos and videos that I could never get back again. Flash backs would come: “I will terrorise you for the rest of your life.”
No place to hide…
I moved house again to an unknown area but it wasn’t long before he found out where I was again. This is when the worst part of all began. It started with a phone call from my workplace saying that her husband had received an explicit picture of me through Facebook. Horrified I began to search through Facebook and i found several different fake Facebook profiles made up of me. I tried to just brush it off and got Facebook to shut them all down.
Totally paranoid I then checked my Instagram and had 21 unknown requests from men wanting to follow me through my Instagram account. I knew something wasn’t right but the internet and social media is infinite, all i could think was what else had he done. I had to carry on life as usual, I had my daughter to raise and I didn’t want any of my emotions affecting her.
It was a Saturday and I went off to work usual. Suddenly I had several men coming into work asking for me. Panicking and freaking out I managed to pull myself together enough to ask one of the men how he new me. He was very co operative and showed me what was supposedly my own Tinder account. It was me, my name, my photos and several explicit non-consensual photos!
Conversations that I supposedly had had with these men. I was horrified, my workplace and my phone number were given to all these men and they were coming into work as I had supposedly offered them my sexual services. I was receiving revolting pictures as apparently I was asking for them. My phone was ringing non stop for two days until the police advised I change my number.
I never wanted to be seen in public again.
I was working making a living to raise my daughter and here he was sitting on the internet selling the mother of his child as a prostitute, how can someone actually stoop that low?. “I’m going to terrorise you for the rest of your life” was ringing in my ears again.
Eventually after over a month of pushing the police they got a warrant to search his home. One of the items recovered in the search was my stolen phone from the previous year!! Finally I didn’t look like the psycho one, he had it all along. After a long process of gathering the evidence of course it was all traced back to him. I knew it was him but the evidence had to be there.
Finally, I’ve found a happy place…
Because he’s very clever he knew not to stick around so the day before the police went to get him he fled the country. I was angry, so unbelievably angry that someone could do this to my life and just get away with it all by jumping on a plane, but I’ve come to realise I’m in a happy place now not having to have eyes in the back of head, always looking over my shoulder, checking for anything suspicious. Whether it was drugs or mental illness it is not OK, nothing excuses what he’s done. I live everyday as best I can, who knows when he will return – “I will terrorise you for the rest of your life”. ♥️
If you are in domestic violence crisis help is available from the Australia-wide telephone hotline 1800RESPECT. If you want to take part in the “Why I Stayed” project click here ♥️♥️♥️
Photograph by Sherele Moody © 2016.